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with an intuitive motion activated lid and seat,ad bold makes sure you'll never have to ask him again. sequester, very, very bad? mostly bad? not so bad? or actually kind of good? don't ask a republican. it's monday, february 25th, and this is "now." joining me today new york city deputy mayor howard wolfson, the queen bee of the joy reid, eric baits, a contributing he editor at "rolling stone" and a visiting
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scholar at new york university, and former rnc chairman and msnbc political analyst the notorious michael steel. with four days until the sequester deadline, lawmakers are taking a page from the shaggy playbook and saying it wasn't me. >> it's made up. it's been created. i didn't support the sequester because that's a stupid way to cut spending. >> i think the sequester was a stupid thing. i voted against it when it first came up. >> woodward said it was president obama who proposed and promoted the sequester. >> you have as usual in washington a large kabuki going on about who can get blamed. >> it came from the white house, and the president's aides. >> a psychologist and procrastination expert told the a.p., "congress is pretty much the worst, hands down, of any group we ever investigated. they're worse than college students." despite the fact that both sides bought into this plan, action to avert the sequester has been limited. president obama advocates a mixed approach. more than $1 trillion in spending cuts coupled with $680
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billion in tax revenue. speaking to the national governor's association a few minutes ago, the president urged congress to find common ground. >> while you are in town i hope that you speak with your congressional delegation and remind them in no uncertain terms exactly what is at stake and exactly who is at risk because here's the thing. these cuts do not have to happen. congress can turn them off any time with just a little bit of compromise. >> but common ground may be difficult to reign for a party who doesn't really know where it stands. speaking to the gop's shifting position on the sequester, karl rove wrote "congressional republicans are simultaneously united, divided, and confused." politico calls it the gop sequester messaging muddle explain, "virginia governor scott wants to replace the cuts, possibly with some tax revenue, saying i just want to get something on the table. i'm a businessperson." meanwhile, kansas representative mike pompao says the sequester
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is here. on march 2nd we will wake up and the american people will have tremendous respect for what its house of representatives led. and kentucky senator rand paul wants deeper cuts, calling the sequester a pitance. striking a deal? tough. striking a deal in one week? very challenging. striking a deal with a three-headed elephant? close to impossible. whenever i say something like three-headed elephants, do you feel it in your bones that i'm going to come to you with the first question, michael steel? >> i do. >> okay. so, listen, there's like a lot of -- there's a lot of blame game going on. sdoo there is. >> at the end of the day, though, when it comes to actually putting your cards on the table and doing a deal, it does not seem like the republicans are all playing with the same deck. >> they're not necessarily playing with the same deck, but i would argue that there's not a whole lot of momentum coming from the white house and the senate democrats to move this ball either, so i think, quite frankly, as you know, howard dean reflected and several other
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republicans who have spoken to recently, i think people do want this to happen ultimately because it will force the hand of the congress. it will actually force these men and women to sit down and actually have to deal with the problem because $84 billion in cuts -- 44 or thereabouts for this year, it's going to be a stark number. it's going to be a real number suddenly, and they're going to have to face it. you know, i've not been a fan of sequester. i think this is all theater to begin with. it's shishging responsibility. we've gone five years now without a budget coming out of the senate. we've had two budgets in the house. virtually torn up before the ink had dried on them. the reality -- the reality of it is washington has failed the american people, and this is a wake-up call because you're going to have campaign starting soon. elections -- >> i would say they probably already started. >> you will have a lot of challengers coming from the right and the left to mix this thing up over the next few months. >> i guess what happens if and when the sequester goes through
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and you have people like mike pompao who say it's going to be the great gift of the house republicans to the american public. you have rand paul who is, like, more, more, more, and theb theoretically you're going to have a sizable wing of the party that's, like, we have to do go sg and reverse these. >> you do. here's the problem. while we can dump on the congress americans don't want to cut, at the end of the day. when you look at the various programs that are out there, the polling that showed gop wanted 56% of the cuts to come from unemployment, 70% on foreign aid -- cut foreign aid. 70% of republicans saying that. on the democratic side there wasn't even a polararity to cut any program. at the end of the day the american people also sent a mixed signal when it comes to actually whether or not we really do want to take on the cuts that we need to take. whether it's not just about
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entitlements, but its defense and across the board, and that's where the leadership moment comes, i think, for the white house and the congress to really lay out very success iktly what this is for. >> i will say, howard, the white house has a proposal that they've had out for a couple of months, which we mentioned in the open of this, which is $1 trillion in cuts to spending, and half a billion -- or, sorry, $500 billion in new revenue, which, you know, is not a number -- half a billion in any kind of -- sorry. half a trillion in revenue is not something the republicans want to play ball on, but that's a proposal. >> it's a proposal. i think the republicans are done raising taxes. i mean, i think that they held their notices last year and raised taxes. that's not going to happen again. i think the republicans will be satisfied. they would rather have sequester with the cuts than they would raise taxes. i don't think there's any -- there may be different wings of the republican party. there may be differences of opinion within the republican party, but i think at the end of the day the majority of republicans and the house of
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representatives certainly would rather take the sequester and all that it portends than raise taxes, period. >> joy, george will has an op ed today, and he make the point that the president is sort of doubling down on this doom's day scenario, but it may happen, and the american public may let out a collective, ah, not so bad. head for the storm cellar, spending will be cut by 2.3% or washington chainsaw massacre. we must scrape by on 97.7% of current spending or grass will grow in the sfreets of american cities of the dpesic agencies whose budget has been increased by 17% under president obama. must endure a 5% cut. is there danger here for the white house if this happens and people don't think it's a big deal? >> right. that's what's been interesting. the public is not engaged in this at all. people aren't paying as much attention to it because it's not a cliff. it doesn't have a dire feeling of a cliff, but, you know what, for the people who will be furloughed, particularly federal employees, i spoke it a federal employee last week who said they're really scared. they're actually afraid because
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people -- real people are going to lose their jobs, and people who are connected to military bases, et cetera, they are paying attention because they're going to lose their jobs. this is very real for them and the businesses they support. the reality is and i think that i concur with the table. i've said this on show before, republicans want the sequester. let's keep it real. 174 voted in the house because they want austerity really badly. they want to implement austerity, but they know that the american public doesn't support austerity. they know that economists are telling them austerity will tank the economy. they're being told no, no, no, we can't do austerity. this is a way to do it, and with very few fingerprints on it. >> what's amazing is that they want austerity. we know they want austerity, and they don't want tax cuts. what's amazing is they want austerity at the expense of the pentagon, and that was the whole purpose of the sequester was to hold a gun to the pentagon's head and to poor people's head so that democrats and republicans would both have an incentive to compromise. that's out the window. they would rather have austerity than protect defense spending, which is a whole new shift in
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the political calculus. >> unexpected one. sfwhoo two things are true. this is a terrible way to govern. it's a terrible way to budget. no rationale person would sit down and say we're just going to have across the board cuts regardless of efficacy of programs. we're going to cut the bad programs as well as the good. no one would do that. the white house put out their numbers last night, the state by state impact numbers. >> the embargo numbers. >> right. you know, we saw them here in new york on the local level, and, obviously, nobody at the local level wants to take a hit. nobody wants to see aid from washington reduced at the local level. there's not going to be blood in the streets. buildings are not going to crumble. the city is not going to collapse. we will find a way to deal with the cuts on the local level. maybe some other cities are not in the position that new york is, but i really wonder whether the average person is going to experience the cuts in the sequester in any real way. >> you make a good point there because we forget the fact that it's not like we wake up on the 2nd of march and all of a sudden everything stops, and that's
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what george will's point is. this is a 30-day sliding into these cuts process, which gives the window of opportunity for the white house and the house to get their collective acts together and put a plan on the table to deal with the $85 billion in cuts that will be many force at this moment and beyond. >> you know, it's interesting because the republican party is at odds with itself insofar as there's the national message and the national leadership, and then there's what's happening at the state level, and that's usually the tea party versus the moderates, but here it's going to be republicans who aren't feeling the cuts and republicans who are feeling the cuts irrespective with no difference made as far as ideology regarding this stuff. some guys are going to hurt more than other guys, and the question is how will the party respond? i do want to touch on that defense piece, though, because i think it's a really interesting change in the party really, michael steel. tom cole says to the "new york times", fiscal questions trump defense in a way they never would have after 9/11, but the war in iraq is over. troops are coming home from
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afghanistan, and we want to secure the cuts. i mean -- >> reality is setting in, and all of the neocons and defense hawks who have protected that nest egg for low these many years found that, you know, basically the egg is cracked. what was in it has now gone out of the nest, and have you to clean up, and this is where you get into those programs that aren't going to deal with the day to day protection of our shores and our relationship with our foreign friends and even our enemies. the waste that goes on in the pentagon, those types of things are now having a glaring light put on them, and i think cole and others are saying this is an opportunity to clean some of that up. >> i can't believe we have a democratic president who is opening drone bases in north africa and, you know, extra judicial assassination american citizens. that's a democrat. the republicans are, like, slash the defense budget. it's bloated. >> i think this is reality setting in too. jonathan has written a lot about this. the reality is when you look at
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the federal budget people say, oh, there's so much to cut. there really actually isn't that much. the big giant pot of money is in defense, and people have been loathe to touch it for the reasons you said. the republicans stood in the way of ever touching the defense department, but there really aren't other big huge pots of money. you can go ahead and cut all of the old people's home lighting and heating and they want to cut food stamps and they want, to you know, take away kids' milk or whatever it is they think they're going to cut. you won't get a whole lot from that. defense is where the money is. republicans really want austerity. >> there are two places where there's a lot of money, but they're not part of the sequester. medicare and social security are not part of it. >> food stamps are part of -- >> look, the president said a couple of minutes ago i will come to the table on, you know, the social safety net, which is the same entitlement programs. >> what does that mean? >> you know what, for a lot of democrats that very admission is a problem for some people. >> until you know what he means by that, you are getting -- you
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are getting excited -- >> no one wants to be the first person out of the gate. >> i applaud the president for being the stand-up guy and saying to his base that he is willing to do that, but the rubber is going to meet the road when he lays out exactly what that means when he says that. >> or when the republicans do. >> when we're prepared to have the conversation on those entitlement programs, you saw it in the ryan budget. >> the ryan budget, which the gop -- >> that was -- >> summarily dismissed. >> that's fine. that's all great, but it was a starting point. we don't have a starting point yet from the president. give us the starting point, mr. president. then the republicans will -- >> i think we also have to remember the purpose of the sequester originally was to kick the can down the road until after the election and let the election decide it. the election decided it in the favor of president obama, and where republicans are now saying is we're going to take that deal we made six, seven, eight months
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ago because that's way better than any deal we're going to get now, and if that involves cutting the pentagon, so be it because there's no other card we hold at this point that can get us any kind of mix that we're going to like better than this mix. it's just that simple. >> i think you're right. the election is a huge -- the under-discussed piece here. i will close out this segment by quoting ezra cline who writes, "the goal posts in american politics aren't set in backroom deals between politicians. they're set in electrics. in the 2012 election the american people were very clear on where they wanted the goal posts moved to." >> not so. >> just has to -- >> they re-elected the house, people. >> they voted by a mill -- >> they re-elected the house too. >> we have to go to the break. we have to take a commercial break, but when we come back, michael steel will have more to say. president obama meets with the nation's governors and implores them not to let partisan politics get in their way. is such a thing even possible? at the state level, quite possibly yes. that was an affirmative. that's next on "now." want younger looking eyes that say wow?
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as governors, you're the ones who are on the ground seeing firsthand every single day what works, what doesn't work, and that's what makes you so indispensable. whatever your party, you ran for office to do everything that you could to make our folks' lives better. one thing i know unionitis all of us and all of you. democrats and republicans. that is the last thing you want to see is washington get in the way of progress. stoo that was president obama
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earlier this morning meeting with the nation's governors to discuss the impact of the looming sequester cuts at the state level. the governors are also grappling with another issue. whether to expand medicaid coverage in their states under the new health care law. under the press's plan medicaid, the federal program that provides health care to low income americans, is said to bring in millions of darnl americans who have been thus far unable to afford health insurance. there is a catch. under the law the states can decide whether to opt in or opt out of the expansion. the federal government will be picking up the tab for the states that opt in, which is not a small chunk of change. medicaid expansion, like the rest of president obama's health care plan, has divided the states. so far 22 states have decided to go with the plan, while 17 have opted out, and 11 remain undecided. many republican governors insist on continuing the fight against obama care arguing that the medicaid expansion only adds to the federal budget deficit, but seven republican governors have decided otherwise. rick scott, the republican governor of florida, whose
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political career has thus far centered around repealing obama care, reversed himself in dramatic fashion last week, joining governors gone casish and jan brewer, and rick snyder in expanding medicaid. >> while the fert government is committed to paying 100% of the cost, i cannot in good conscious deny floridians that have needed access to health care. >> i can't look at the disabled. i can't look at the poor. i can't look at the mentally ill. i can't look at the addicted and think we ought to ignore them. for those that live in the shadows of life, the those the least among, you i will not accept the fact that the most vulnerable in our state should be ignored. we can help them. >> 11 states remain on the fence. we'll see if compassionate conservatism, good conscious and fiscal health can trump hatred for obama care. eric, when that kasic sound was playing, it was like, whoa, is this a republican governor speaking? >> well, that's exactly what he tried to do was to look those people -- he actually tried to
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not look them in the eye and make sure they didn't get health care. now he has to look them in the eye and say i'm not going to give you health care. same with scott walker saying, well, i can't in good conscious do this. you tried in good conscience to not do this for years. >> rick scott. >> rick scott. >> talking about -- i mean, rick scott, who literally was wearing a t-shirt for the last several hundred days that said repeal obama care is now buying in. cathleen, secretary of health and human services, joy, calls this something that is too good to pass up. >> it's too good to pass up. i'm sorry. i didn't mean to laugh in the face of rick scott's great compassion. this guy's signature policy was to drug test the poor. this is a guy who is so compassionate about the poor that he literally led the fight of 22 states all the way to the supreme court to stop health care. he just wrote an op ed, literally two months ago, saying absolutely not, hell no, we're not taking this medicaid money. what they should have said is i am a swing state republican, and i can't get re-elected in 2014 if the hospital interests many my state come and threaten me with their own bankruptcy and then run against me or fund my
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opponent. these guys all got elected in 2010 on this tea party rah-rah thing, none of that dirty federal money, and now you have 100% match. the federal government putting 100% to expand care. in florida that has met 33.6 billion dollars that hospitals are going to get. that's a 31% increase in the amount of money they would get over the status quo because you have people who can't qualify right now for medicaid, but who still show up at the hospitals. a million people in florida. this is about money and re-election. >> the biggest difference between governing at the federal level and the state and local level is that the state and local level you have to have a balanced budget every year. okay? you cannot deficit spend, and you have to have one. that drives an enormous amount of decision making. no governor, no mayor is going to look at money that's coming down from washington and say he don't want it because it helps you balance your budget. it's why at the local level you tend to have more bipartisanship because you just can't punt and deficit spend. you have to get republicans and democrats working together to come up with a balanced budget on a yearly basis, and it's why
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you can afford to be a little bit more pragmatic when somebody hands you money. you need that money to help fill a gap here or fill a gap there. >> it's very true. i just have three things i want to say. >> oh, something tells me you'll add a couple more on there. >> just three things. the first is why y'all hating so much? >> we're not. we're applauding -- >> republicans are now coming around to your point of view. >> whether it's political expeaedency, whatever where thes sdmroosh thank you. >> people who are making $14,000 a year, which is barely subcysting, which is also -- >> absolutely. >> now have access to health insurance. >> absolutely. that's the point. let me finish my other two quick points. to your -- what you just said, howard. absolutely true. the states and i know this as a former state official, lieutenant governor coming in with the deficit, $2 billion and having to balance that and we made a conscious effort not to raise taxes to do that. those federal dollars helped offset a lot of those expenses and those costs. no doubt about that.
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here's the third point and the catch. this is the concern that a lot of republican governors have and will have in the future. not just republican governors, but the democrat governors as well. this money -- this 100% dollar amount you are getting from the federal government has a cap on it. it's two to three years. >> then it's 90%. >> but, still -- but, still, you have to understand that sounds good on paper, but a 90% dance with the federal government for a state is a complicated dance. even if it's 100%. it's still a complicated dance. if the federal government does not fulfill its obligations 100% and completely, this becomes a real downward pressured issue for state governments down the road, so the hesitation just to be really straight up about it, the hesitation a lot of republicans had was how does this really work for us in year four or five, seven? now that you've added -- >> health care costs are going to come down. sfwroo we know that's not necessarily -- >> to that point, i mean, there
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is also the other part of being a governor that you are, i think, in a way much more beholden to your constituents than you are if you are -- >> that's a reality check. >> you know, you look at -- you have -- let's play some of the sound from scott walker, who is the governor of wisconsin, who is not opting in, but has his own pushback from chris wallace at fox who basically argues, look, your state residents are paying into this plan, and they're not getting any benefits. let's take a listen. >> the critics say your decision is one, going to cost your state millions of dollars and going to leave a lot of people in wes wisconsin uninsured. >> but, again, every state is different. that's why i won't criticize them, be it those republicans or the democrats, because every state is different. our n our case we actually reduced the number of uninsured. we reduced the number of people on medicaid, and actually saved a little bit of money. >> here's the thing. scott walker is having -- i mean, really to this -- to this moment having his cake and eating it too, right? his plan is not coming -- it's not enough in place to come under actual scrutiny, but the word is -- the analysis is if he
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had expanded the medicaid roles, he wool have saved the state $66 million. he has wisconsinites who say -- why can't we get access to medicaid? >> because scott walker wants to be president. if you look at the governors that are saying no -- look, states like louisiana, how poor is louisiana or mississippi or texas? texas, which has one of the highest rates of uninsured. look at the governors who are saying no. scott walker who is thought to have presidential ambitions. bobby jindahl. nicki hailey thought to have presidential ambitions. it's much more than the fiscal sanity that you would think would govern. they're giving this money to california. that's what they're going to do because their voters, their -- the poor in their state are still going to be poor and still going to go to the hospital and still going to get treated. they're going to be treated as free riders, and the federal money that should be going to wisconsin and louisiana, mississippi is going to california. that's all they're doing. the money isn't going to be -- >> here's what you can say about scott walker. he is true to his principles,
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and his principle is to blow a hole in his deficit and screw poor people. >> come on. come on. >> he really is -- does not like the idea of the federal government having a greater role. >> i don't understand. >> i will say, you know, let's talk for a second about the governor question because when we talk about gop leadership moving forward, i do need to quote the infamous, the famous stewart stevens, romney consigliary who writes in the washington post "for 2016 the democrats seem headed between a fight between hillary clinton and joe biden. both launched their careers in the 1970s. what will their slogan be? another century of southwest? but on our side we have paul ryan, nikki hailey, marco rubio, chris christie, jeb bush, susannah martinez, and more. who has the best opportunity to win that generational battle?" howard, five of those seven people, i think i'm counting right, are governors, and it would be really interesting to see where the gop goes. as we have discussed, the
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governors have more of a bipartisan approach to legislate and to policy and to governing. how does that translate to the republican party? >> to joy's point, what's interesting, is that the governor who's are really thinking about running for president are taking these rather extreme idealogical positions when it comes to issue like medicaid. if they're repositioning themselves towards the center, it's not necessarily the ones who will be running for president. they are very worried still about getting through the republican primary process, and if the republican primary process looks like it did last time four years from now, you will have another flawed, weak candidate coming out of that process. >> we'll see what chrissist christy does. >> he hasn't taken it yet either. >> tbd. we'll end the segment on that deep tease. coming up, are the castro brothers a pair of aces for the democratic party, and can the twins from texas turn the state blue? we will discuss democratic dreams and demographic realities next on "now." [ male announcer ] how do you make america's favorite recipes?
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>> some of the brooits folks in the world, but at the end of our day there i couldn't help but to think back to my classmates at thomas jefferson high school in san antonio. they had the same talent, the same brains, the same dreams as the folks we sat with at stanford and harvard. i realize the difference wasn't one of intelligence or drive. the difference was opportunity. >> now he and his brother, his twin brother, joaquin are working to change the landscape nationally and in texas. we will discuss the castro
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ya. alright, another one just like that. right in the old bucket. good toss! see that's much better! that was good. you had your shoulder pointed, you kept your eyes on your target. let's do it again -- watch me. just like that one...
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[ male announcer ] the durability of the volkswagen passat. pass down something he will be grateful for. good arm. that's the power of german engineering. ♪ back to you. >> identical twins and rising political stars, julian and joaquin castro. they are profiled in the current issue of "vogue." jacob weissburg writes "as a political phenomenon they are a two for one package. halves of a joint enterprise focused on expanding the kind of educational opportunity that has enabled their own mutual rise." aside from their overarching policy goals, they are focused on something else. turning texas blue. "their political project is to reverse what karl rove accomplished nearly two decades ago, when he solidified the republican domination of texas. the brothers have been working with members of obama's political team on what they see
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as a six to eight year effort to make democrats electable again at the state level." it will not be ease where i. texas has voted republican in each of the last nine general elections and hasn't elected a democrat to statewide office since the mid 1990s. president obama lost the state by 16 points in the last election, but there are reasons for optimism. texas is one of four majority minority states and its 9.5 million hispanics, currently 38% of the population, will outnumber whites by 2030. still, several weeks ago joaquin acknowledged that change won't happen overnight. >> realistically within eight to ten years we should be competitive. there should be circumstances where a democrat can win statewide. >> indeed at present texas remains defiantly red. as exetchfied by its current star tea party freshman senator ted cruise and three-term governor rick, oops, perry who spoke to the notion of turning texas blue this weekend and called it "the biggest pipe dream i have ever heard."
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joining us now to discuss the stars of the lone star state is chairman of the slate group, what a title, jacob weissburg, author of the article "a pair of aces." >> thank you, alex. >> let me ask, what do -- we just talked about turning texas blue, the castros are stars nationally. what is the opinion of them in texas? do you have the sense of how beloved they are in a statewide level? >> oh, i think they're both very popular politicians. julian is a very popular mayor of san antonio. that said, they really wowed that convention. >> how do you square then -- this is what i don't understand about texas. maybe someone from texas can tell me at some point. how do you have rick perry, who has been in office for almost three and a half terms and you have senator ted cruz in the senate and then you also have people like the castros getting elected to congress. is that just the majority-minority piece, or is that sort of weird texas water
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systems? >> well, it is a polarized state, and it's a state that has swung very far. i mean, in my lifetime the state leadership in texas was all democratic. albeit conservative democratic compared to what we're used to at the national level. karl rove took on a long-term project which with george w. bush as the protagonist of winning the state for republicans, and he won every state office for republicans. the question is can that be reversed, and if so, what will be the factors and how long it will take? >> howard, you have seen a national campaign in your lifetime. jake writes in that story -- he says julian has his sights set on the governor's mansion, though not in 2014 when rick perry might or might not run for re-election. in 2017, however, mayoral term limits will force julian out of office which frees him up for a 2018 governor's race. the fantasy of many texas democrats is an all castro ticket. joaquin challenging the cuban-american tea party darling ted crews and his brother running for governor. what do you think of that?
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>> i think it's an exciting opportunity. i mean, look, the long-term math doesn't bode well for the republicans in texas. the more latinos, more african-americans voting for democrats, and if the republicans can't fix their latino problem, increasingly, it's iffing to play out in texas politics getting democrats elected to the statewide level. now, whether that happens two years, four years, six years, eight years, hard to tell when sort of the tipping point occurs, but it's clearly not moving in the right direction for the republicans, and you have seen this in other states. i mean, virginia was a solidly red state. is now kind of mixed. may even be a blue state. you've seen north carolina move a little bit. this is not -- states don't always remain republican because they've been republican for generations. they switch. weave seen that the other way. i mean, the solid south was once democratic. it's now republican. these things have a way of moving, and the demographics in texas would suggest that it's moving in the direction of the democrats. if you have two very
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charismatic, very popular, very accomplished democrats, they will help that process along. >> one thing i learned writing this piece is how different latino politics is in texas. the castro brothers don't speak spanish. they grew up -- their immigrants came to this country before -- their ancestors did before my an southeasts overs did. they've been here almost 100 years. >> their grandmother was the first one to come over. >> even their mother who is a popular latino activist didn't grow up as spanish of their first language. it's not all based around immigration. latinos have been in texas for a long, long time. >> michael steel, we talk about the growing lat anneee population in the u.s. first of all, it's not monolithic. right now the way that -- it's on the issue of immigration, which is jake points out it's not -- actually in texas, you know, democrats need to learn
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how to talk to the his pan ebbing pop rags. rick perry wants 39% of the hispanic vote, and likewise, republicans need to learn to talk to his pan ebbings at a national level sfwloosh you're right. i think to howard's point. the demographic shifts have a factor that need to be taken into account as the state changes. i think the timeline is a little longer than a lot of democrats hope it is, simply because even those republicans -- those democrats you're talking about in the his pan ebbing community, they're conservative. they do identify with that part of the political spectrum. the shift is going to common areas, yeah, like immigration, but economics and upward mobility, opportunities which the castro brothers really speak to, and if they can -- i think they light that. it's about talking about opportunity in a new way that people don't see it through a partisan lens and see it much more in an opportunistic lens. >> the other thing is democratic turnout. we've talked about minority turnout in national races.
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the biggest problem in the "new york times" writes is the voter participation. only about half of eligible hispanic voters show up nationwide. this edged up slightly in 2012 to 53%. in texas just 4.1 million hispanics are registered to vote, and only about half make it into the voting booth. sthoo that is actually the reason why democrats have not been competitive, not just in texas but states like nevada where you have large hispanic populations but they don't participate. there are parallels between what texas is going through and florida went through. you know, florida was a lean sort of republican because you had this overweight of the cuban-american population. the beg bulk of the hispanic -- >> cuban-canadian. good point. good point. the vast majority, something like 60% to 65% of american hispanics are of mexican background like the castro brothers. the growth opportunity is in people who have an afint culturally with second and third generation. not necessarily spanish speaking hispanics because they're
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starting to lean the more african-americans do on jobs and economics. if democrats can register more voters and they probably will because they have a better relationship with hispanics, then i think that, yeah, texas in ten years will be competitive. >> the sort of latin -- the story of latin immigration in the u.s. may not be, you know, my mother crossed the border from mexico. i was indicated in stanford and harvard. i don't speak spanish. i can speak to the latten community. i can speak to hispanic concerns. i can speak to national concerns. that seems to be the model for the castros at least. >> it's just getting more complicated. i mean, what a cuban-american has in common with dominicans or puerto ricans in new york? obama won the cuban vote for the first time. if you even look within the cuban vote, there's a big shift between older cubans who are very conservative and vote republican, and younger ones who think very different about differently about a whole bunch of issues, and manly our relations with cuba and whether we should continue the embargo. i resist the idea of demographic
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inevitability. there are long-term shifts which do favor the democrats in general. it depends on how extreme the republicans decide to be. if they're going to be a tea party dominated party, it's going to be a lot easier for the democrats, and it's going to be a lot easier for the democrats if they have talented candidates like the castro brothers than if they have a bunch of nonentities who fill a box. >> the castro brothers do really get along that well, don't they? they just seem sort of attached at the hip. >> that's the thing i loved writing this story because it's a story about brotherhood. you know, these guys are twins, and i was looking, of course, for tension and conflict. i'm sure they've had their share of that. their mother told me they did growing up. they used to fight like cats and dogs. these guys now, they just love each other, and they're on the same wave length, and they work together, and it's to be honest, it's just a beautiful thing to see them. >> virtually indistinguishable. like me and my twin who occasionally hosts the show. slate chairman mr. chairman, two
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chairmans on the same side of the table. david weisburg, "pair of aces" in the march issue of "vogue." another texan on the cover, beyonce. >> wayne lapierre received a standing ovation for gifting the annual western hunting and consearchation expo with a bunch of crazy conspiracy theories. we will talk wayne's world ahead on "now." ♪ ♪ no two people have the same financial goals. pnc works with you to understand yours and help plan for your retirement. visit a branch or call now for your personal retirement review. withyou'll find reviewsve time, on home repair to healthcareon.
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wayne lapierre, ceo of the national rifle association was at it again this weekend. asserting the congressional efforts to institute a universal background check are really a secret plot to confiscate american guns. >> this so-called universal background check that you're hearing about all over the media and from president obama and some of the other politicians in washington is aimed at one thing. it's aimed at registering your guns, and when another tragic opportunity presents itself that registry will be used to confiscate your guns. >> eric, you know what the working phrase there is. when a tragic opportunity presents itself because that's what the nra is looking for in order to sell more guns.
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>> that's right. if i were the drug cartels and the mob, i would be giving to the nra because he is their best friend. >> yeah, he is. >> he is putting guns in the hands of everyone he can, and then as we heard in the clip earlier, he is saying, well, now we've given the guns to the bad guys, so you better get your gun too because it's all-out warfare. >> in 1999, which seems like a lifetime ago wayne lapierre said we think it's reasonable to provide mandatory background checks for every sale at every gun show, no loopholes anywhere from for anyone. what happened to that guy? snoo what's changed? i don't know. that's the problem. when you are talking out of both sides of your mouth, you lose credibility. this is about gun manufacturers. this is dollars in the bank, and membership, and the vast majority of nra members, i know, and i know a lot of them, do not follow this line of reasoning. they are more in line with what wayne said back in 1999 than what he is saying today. number one. number two, where is the proof in the pudding given that we've got mandatory background checks
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in place to the extent that they exist that all these tragic events have happened. where is the confiscation? the arguments, the logic doesn't add up, and it's just -- it just makes it much more difficult for the party as a whole to be in line with this when you know that's not where rank and file members are. >> the rhetoric has gotten insane on the part of wayne lapierre. tomorrow is a big day. mayor bloomberg has put a lot of resources into this jesse jackson seat. that will be a lot of it being a test for gun safety measures. >> it's a bellweather and referendum on the president's gun package. at least within the democratic primary. there was a candidate who had been a member of congress, had been rated a by the nra, was going to run again, was ahead in the polls. the mayor looked at that and said we can't have that in the midst of this national conversation, national debate about guns. we have spent -- mayors spent about $2.5 million of his own money to influence that conversation in illinois to make sure that folks on the ground knew that this former
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congresswoman had been rated a by the nra, had come out -- has come out in support of another woman running for office there. robin kelly, who has a very strong record in trying to get guns out of the hands of criminals, and we'll see tomorrow whether or not the good people of the second district in illinois want to elect somebody who has a consistent track record on behalf of strong gun measures. >> safety. >> or somebody who is rated a by the nra who began the race in first place. >> joy, i think the tide has changed. >> that's it. making that a rating as a scarlet letter. that is a game changer that michael bloomberg is doing. >> game changers. >> however, it's different from the coke products. >> it is a fair point. we'll be talking tomorrow about it. maybe we can get you on remote. >> oh, i would love to answer that question. >> thank you to howard, joy, eric, and the very notorious michael steel. that is all for now. see you back here tomorrow when i'm joined by governor ed rendell, bill burton, michael
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eric dyson, and democracy 21's president fred warheimer. follow owes twitter. andrea mitchell reports is next. asional have constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating? yes! one phillips' colon health probiotic cap each day helps defend against these digestive issues... with three strains of good bacteria. [ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. phillips'.
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[ phillips' lady ] live the regular life. exciting and would always come max and pto my rescue. bookstore but as time passed, i started to notice max just wasn't himself.

NOW With Alex Wagner
MSNBC February 25, 2013 9:00am-10:00am PST

News/Business. Alex Wagner. Forces driving the day's stories. New.

TOPIC FREQUENCY Washington 8, Scott Walker 6, Wayne Lapierre 5, Rick Scott 5, Max 5, Florida 5, Us 5, Pentagon 4, Julian 4, Boris 3, Phillips 3, Eric 3, Karl Rove 3, Rick Perry 3, Wayne 3, Campbell 3, Louisiana 3, Vogue 3, New York 3, Obama 3
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